The client’s current business was built on financial lease accounting and compliance administration for both enterprise and SMB customers. To help grow the business the client will simplify the lease accounting portion of the process as a separate product and entry point to the company. This will allow a new revenue stream for a subscription-based lease accounting product while at the same time allow these clients to onboard to the larger software package as their needs warrant.
We utilized a mentor-based approach to work with this client to build a new product in a multi-phase approach. We modeled modern software development techniques for the client team while at the same time providing product development lifecycle acceleration. The client will realize speed-to-market with its product by utilizing an agile development process that closely aligns with customer feedback throughout the product development lifecycle.
Innovation and team alignment stars with discovery, understand who we are creating the software for and understanding client stakeholders’ ideas.
Building for scalability and efficiency starts with a design system, while also creating screens and prototypes for client and user feedback.
Learn how to improve the process from actual users with usability testing and updating designs before implementation.
Design Thinking Workshop
We kicked off the project with design thinking workshops to gain team alignments, develop a culture of innovation and foster collaboration. Also identify success metrics, the plans for execution, and the minimum viable product.
There are different types of mechanisms to pull out ideas. We use icebreakers to get to know people on the team, typing ideas on virtual sticky notes individually and in small groups. And this is important to get original ideas and not just group thinking.
Some other activities are dot voting for prioritizing ideas, drawing user flows and wireframes, discussing and converging as a group on various topics, breaks in between activities, and a retrospective.
During the workshop we also discussed and identified the top personas to better understand who we are designing and solving for. To better understand their pain points, goals, and reasons to use this product.
Creating user flows helped us and the client better understand all the parts that would be needed for this product within the platform and marketing site.
Design systems speed up design and development time, make it easier for global changes, and make designs more consistent.
For this client, the design system consists of core styles, logo, typography, color, navigation, and icons to be used across multiple products. Marketing design system with heros, banners, illustrations, emails. And a Form design system with form fields, alerts, and buttons.
At Endava, hypothesis-driven design is an eclectic mix of Google design sprints combined with the methodologies described in Lean UX and Sense and Respond. Our goal with each project is to validate a proposed solution as quickly and efficiently as possible by creating working hypotheses, then testing them using stakeholder & customer feedback. We firmly believe that this approach can be used on any type of project, as it allows teams to be more experimental in their solutions while gathering crucial knowledge early on.
Our goals in usability testing were to test the most important tasks with in the software platform, and wanted their feedback on the steps required. We tested with 6 participants that were CPAs, Finance Managers, a Real Estate Director, and CFOs.
We tested for ease of use, overall impressions, if labels make sense, find out if there’s anything to help make things easier. We also used task-based testing to not lead participants and followed up with questions. We went through the most important tasks for signing up for an account, adding a new lease, modifying a lease, logging out & logging back in with a free account, upgrading to paid plan, creating disclosure reports for multiple leases, downloading amortization schedule among other tasks.
We also asked them about pricing, how they would describe the software to a college, and their thoughts on the software platform generally.
Overall Usability Findings Overall testing went fairly well, however we did find some opportunities on how to improve users' experience.
Software Platform Feedback
- Added friendly messaging to the Portfolio page (any suggestions here?) Set up your Profile
- Added Welcome to your lease dashboard on empty dashboard page
- Added Invite button in header (participants were looking for it not in the dropdown)
- Added Lease Dashboard in the dropdown (participants were looking for it in the dropdown)
- Added info icon to Lease ID (consider switching Lease Name to required and lease id optional?)
- Updated marketing banner messaging, Added you are on the free version messaging (you’re on the free plan your changes won’t be saved). Add free plan in header.
- Subscription page, moved the customize option above the fold, try making the top section smaller and try making a 5th column, or drop free column - still show they are on free plan, add cancel account
- On subscription page, add a leases button
- Added a * to the disclaimer messaging in checkout (some missed the messaging before)
Future Enhancement Ideas
- Attaching a document
- Report monthly
- Create a how-to guide
- Integrated with ERP
- Notifications on when leases are about to expire/terminate
Marketing Site & Software Platform
From user needs, personas, and user flows we can then start designing screens. Creating clickable prototypes to use for stakeholder reviews and usability testing.
We built a marketing site and software platform to simplify the lease accounting process for the client that they could take to market. This will allow a new revenue stream for a subscription-based lease accounting product while at the same time allow their clients to onboard to the larger software package as their needs warrant. We helped them with their goals of expanding into multiple standards for leasing, ability to add multiple leases, batching, persistent data, and a paid subscription model.
We utilized a mentor-based approach to work with this client to build a new product in a multi-phase approach. We modeled modern software development techniques for the client team while at the same time providing product development lifecycle acceleration by determining scope of work for MVP and upcoming enhancements.